Where hast thou gleaned to-day?
~ Ruth 2:19
What have I learnt where’er I’ve been,
From all I’ve heard, from all I’ve seen?
What know I more that’s worth the knowing?
What have I done that’s worth the doing?
What have I sought that I should shun?
What duties have I left undone?
All of this world will soon have passed away. But God will remain, and thou, whatever thou hast become, good or bad. Thy deeds now are the seed-corn of eternity. Each single act, in each several day, good or bad, is a portion of that seed. Each day adds some line, making thee more or less like Him, more or less capable of His love.
~ E. B. PUSEY
— Ps 42:1 NET
Rivers to the ocean run,
Nor stay in all their course;
Fire ascending seeks the sun;
Both speed them to their source;
So a soul that’s born of God,
Pants to view his glorious face,
Upward tends to his abode,
To rest in his embrace.
— Robert Seagrave
As the bird trims her to the gale
I trim myself to the storm of time;
I man the rudder, reef the sail,
Obey the voice at eve obeyed at prime;
Lowly faithful, banish fear,
The port well worth the cruise is near
And every wave is charmed.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
My Father, I pray that if I meet with difficulty, I may not go backward, nor stand still, and fear to go forward. Unfold to me the depth and breadth of the ideal and beautiful, that I may not be content to succeed in the shallowness of life: but may I aspire to the height of the soul, even if I fail to acquire great things. Amen.
What we long for is not just living forever. What resonates deep in our hearts is a sincere expectation of someday enjoying a life of perpetual good and bounty. That is not a fanciful pipe dream! It is a foreshadowing of Heaven. . . . In our desire to know more about the place where we will spend eternity, we are like kids anticipating a great summer vacation.
~ Daniel Brown, [What the Bible Reveals about Heaven]
Would Paul ever have said, “to die is gain,” if from the moment of his demise he was to lie in the stark oblivion of soul-sleep for an indeterminate duration? What possible “gain” could it have been, to leave his Spirit-filled ministry, his rich communion with Christ, his bringing of thousands to know the Savior, his founding of churches around the world, his teaching of believers, his inspired letter-writing for the guidance and edification of the Christian assemblies? As 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 tells us, Paul had been “caught up” by the Holy Spirit and given more than a glimpse of what awaits the Christian on the other side of death; and that is what he has in mind when he exults, “To die is gain”
~ J. Sidlow Baxter, [The Other Side of Death]
I meet many faithful Christians who, in spite of their faith, are deeply disappointed in how their lives have turned out. Sometimes it is simply a matter of how they experience aging, which they take to mean they no longer have a future. But often, due to circumstances or wrongful decisions and actions by others, what they had hoped to accomplish in life they did not. They painfully puzzle over what they may have done wrong, or over whether God has really been with them.
Much of the distress of these good people comes from a failure to realize that their life lies before them. That they are coming to the end of their present life, life “in the flesh,” is of little significance. What is of significance is the kind of person they have become. Circumstances and other people are not in control of an individual’s character or of the life that lies endlessly before us in the kingdom of God.
~ Dallas Willard, [The Divine Conspiracy]